E-TEXTBOOKS: WHAT JOB ARE WE DOING FOR THE CUSTOMER?

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1 E-TEXTBOOKS: WHAT JOB ARE WE DOING FOR THE CUSTOMER? Mary Tripsas Harvard Business School Mitchell Weisberg Sawyer Business School 0

2 Why did people use PDAs to read books? Devices On Which Consumers Worldwide Prefer to Read ebooks 2006 (% of respondents) 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 79% 8% 7% 4% 1% 1% PDA Laptop Desktop PC Dedicated Reading Device Cell Phone Other What is the job to be done? Source: February 2006 survey conducted by the International Digital Publishing Forum of 6,000 consumers of ebooks. 716 participated in this survey. 1

3 Technology and education have a tumultuous, fickle relationship PC with CD-ROM, mid-1990s PLATO V System, 1981 Online lessons Forums Online testing Multi-player games Touchscreen 2

4 What percentage of the textbook market will be digital? Source: xplana March, 2011 US Textbooks reaching the tipping point in US higher education: a revised 5-year forecast 3

5 But close to 100% of students and professors already hire the internet today to do a range of jobs Students jobs to be done Get a friend s notes from a missed class Review a summary of course material Understand leading-edge research on a topic Do practice exercises to master material Look up factual material Professors jobs to be done Find a timely example for class discussion Keep the students awake and engaged 4

6 The more pressing questions are.. What combination of digital resources will help students to learn, help faculty to teach and how does that vary by setting? Text, video, audio, interactive exercises, social media, online quizzes with diagnostics, etc Is there value in packaging some or all of these elements into one integrated, coherent package an e-textbook? Which elements create the most value? How can publishers combine elements to create value? 5

7 A starting point: In-depth ethnography of multiple devices in the classroom Multiple devices in one class facilitates comparison How does a student s experience vary depending upon what device and application s/he used? How does observation of others experience with different devices influence the students perspective? Real-time data capture How do students use their devices? What experiments, if any, do they run on their own? How does student attitude and behavior change during semester of device use? 6

8 Research Setting 1-semester 12-week undergraduate capstone course in Management Strategy at Sawyer Business School About 25 full-time students per section Instructor: Mitchell Weisberg Textbook: Carpenter, M.A. & W.G. Sanders, 2009, Strategic Management: A Dynamic Perspective - Concepts (2nd edition). Pearson / Prentice Hall. Experiment run in Fall 2010, Winter

9 Experimental design Pre-class survey administered Students randomly assigned a device (in addition to print version of text) 1. Kindle DX 2. Sony Reader Touch Edition 3. entourage edge 4. ipad with CourseSmart app 5. PC with CourseSmart in browser 6. Multiple devices (or none if desired) Students keep weekly individual journals Students bring devices to class and share experiences and perspectives in class discussions Students given option to try a different device Post-class survey administered 8

10 Devices used Kindle DX.azw version of text downloaded from publisher Sony Reader Touch Edition.epub version of text downloaded from publisher entourage edge.epub version of text downloaded from publisher or CourseSmart in browser ipad with CourseSmart app Required internet connection PC with CourseSmart in browser Required internet connection All devices allowed for note-taking, highlighting, and bookmarks Sony Reader & edge have a stylus and touchscreen, ipad uses virtual keyboard Limitation: The digital version of the textbook was a replica of the print version with no enhancements such as links to video, annotations, definitions, exercises, or simulations 9

11 Student experience at the beginning of the semester Students had limited prior experience with ereaders or ebooks Do you own an ereader device? Yes, 9% Few students had tablets, but everyone had a PC/laptop Do you own an ipad or other tablet? Yes, 9% No, 91% Have you ever used or tried any ereaders or ebook apps? No, 63% Yes, 37% Do you own a PC? If so, what type? netbook, 7% No, 91% laptop, 91% desktop, 2% 10

12 A high percentage of students used the devices and continued to use them throughout the semester Percent of students who read the chapter using the digital text 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Week 11

13 Students with eink devices were slightly more likely to read the textbook using their device Percent who read or skimmed text on device vs. paper ( excluding first week) 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% Paper text Digital text 30% 20% 10% 0% Overall Kindle DX Sony edge ipad CourseSmart PC CourseSmart Multiple devices 12

14 At the end of the study the majority of students would use digital texts as a back-up If you could get your textbooks on your ereader would you: If you could get your textbooks on your laptop/netbook would you: use it as your primary way to get content for the course refer to it when needed (secondary) wouldn t use it use it as your primary way to get content for the course refer to it when needed (secondary) wouldn t use it If you could get your textbooks on your tablet or ipad device would you: use it as your primary way to get content for the course refer to it when needed (secondary) wouldn t use it 13

15 Overall students became less interested in etextbooks, however the shift in attitude varied by device used If you had your choice, would you use an etextbook for your college classes? (% yes) 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% Pre survey Post survey 30% 20% 10% 0% Overall (n=45) Kindle DX Sony edge ipad CourseSmart PC CourseSmart Multiple devices 14

16 Basic results Frustration with technical issues Needed Internet connection to use CourseSmart eink page turns too slow Page layout was not optimal for reading devices Valued digital versions of print capabilities Note-taking, highlighting, bookmarking Search viewed as better in e-text Study on the go an important job to be done I traveled to Europe and all those hours spent on a plane helped me catch up on my readings for class. Students loved the ipad, but not for its ereading capability Spent a lot of time on other applications web browsing, social media I love my ipad, it is still a super cool toy to me 15

17 Enhancements requested were surprisingly mundane Enhancements requested Color, especially for diagrams and illustrations Integration with Blackboard Not Note sharing Annotated hyperlinks Video Interactive exercises Links to applications e.g. excel to analyze data Simulations Not yet expecting the web on a device but that s where we re headed Current replica of print e-textbooks are a small first step and will only be adopted to save cost 16

18 The instructor s perspective Observations of student behavior Students taking notes on device Positive feedback from graduated students Higher level of engagement Benefits Students tied course content to real world Understood industry issues first hand Engaged with publishers and device makers Publishers and device makers gained insight from students strategy development Students not ready to make the transition to full digital textbook readers These will be used by the next generation of college students, now in high school. 17

19 Do current etextbooks Do the Job for the instructor Preparation Loading content onto devices or media Rich media becoming available from publishers Classroom Different pages numbers for different devices or font sizes Engages students Assignments Lack of link to assignments Sharing and team work Course Management Managing devices Measuring learning Benefits Engaged with market: publishers and device makers Dynamic content 18

20 Questions? 19

21 CONTACT INFORMATION Mary Tripsas Harvard Business School (617) Mitchell Weisberg Sawyer Business School (781)

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